Leon Trotsky, The History of the Russian Revolution
This it not a book to read all at once. Of the first 75 pages there are passages of brilliance, but discussing the nits, grits and specificities of Russian politics before World War One and during that war, Trotsky is vague, general and cliched. They are revolutionary cliches:
“The semi-annulment of serfdom and the introduction of universal military service had modernized the army only as far it is had the country – that is, it introduced into the army all the contradictions proper to a nature which still had its bourgeois revolution to accomplish.”(p. 17)
That sentence, so full of promise, is meaningless. It is followed by general omissions found in many armies – from the officer’s corp to supply to training. It should be observed the Soviet armies were as ill-equipped and misled at the beginning of World War Two as the Tsar’s armies in World War One. Trotsky’s gross generalization lacks any foundation in history, except it states the obvious: Armies are usually under supplied whether the country has had a bourgeois revolution or not.
This cliche is mean to tell readers, familiar with Trotsky, exactly what Trotsky means, but apparently no one else. Those understanding readers will accept his historical fallacies because Trotsky can always say, “I was in a real revolution.”
Such cliches aside, Trotsky has used words and derived terms which should go into the language today. Cosmopolitan Adultery referred to pre-World War One royalty and nobility, their relations and activities, not always undercover. TODAY, there are numerous individuals in entertainment, elsewhere and wherever in America and around the world to whom this term may be applied. Use it!
Meanwhile, I’ll read further in this history, but not all at once.